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Education is not freely available to everyone – and in many parts of the world girls are the first to be excluded from it.

CAMFED believes that every child is entitled to a quality education in a safe environment, and to a life as an independent adult. With access to education, women can do amazing things: launch climate-smart businesses, become health workers, run schools, and lead governments, making the world a better place for everyone. 

Poverty is the greatest barrier to accessing an education

In sub-Saharan Africa, 32.6 million girls of primary and lower secondary school age are out of school. This number rises to 52 million when taking into account girls of upper secondary school age (UNESCO/UIS 2019), with millions more at risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When families lack the income for food, transport, school fees, uniforms, and essentials like sanitary pads, girls are the first to drop out of school.  They are the first to be failed by the system, facing the perils of early marriage, early pregnancy, and abuse. Without the choice to write their own futures, their endless potential is wasted. Investing in girls’ education and young women’s leadership is a proven way of improving the health and wealth of entire nations.  

Educating girls:

  • is the foundation for gender equity and social justice
  • leads to healthier communities and nations, reducing maternal and infant mortality and malnutrition, stunting, HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • reduces child marriage and gender-based violence
  • unlocks women’s leadership for policy change that benefits everyone
  • drives economic development, leading to higher productivity and income, tackling youth unemployment and instability
  • is one of the most effective ways of tackling climate change, because investing in girls’ education is the foundation for female leadership for climate action, including in climate-smart agriculture, leading to better nutrition, increased resilience to climate shocks, reduced emissions, and a more sustainable future for us all

When you educate a girl, everything changes:

  • 90%

    Educated women will reinvest 90% of their earnings back into their families, compared with 35% for men. They'll invest in their children's education and support their studies.

    Clinton Global Initiative

  • 2X

    Women with a secondary school education will earn twice as much, on average, as women without an education. Lack of girls' secondary education costs countries between $15 and $30 trillion in lost lifetime productivity and earnings.

    World Bank (2018)

  • 3x

    Educated girls are up to three times less likely to become HIV-positive, and at reduced risk of malaria.

    UN AIDS Gap Report (2014)

  • 5x

    Girls with secondary schooling are five times less likely to marry as children compared to girls who have little or no education, and have healthier families

    Global Partnership for Education (2019)

Imagine you’re a young girl in rural Africa.

You went to primary school, loved your lessons, and enjoyed playing with your classmates. But when it was time to go to secondary school you had to drop out. You may have lost one or both of your parents, and are looking after younger siblings, or helping out elderly grandparents. Your extended family does not have the money for school fees, food, uniforms, or transport. You now have to work to earn money to help your family. You’re vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and early marriage, at risk of physical violence, HIV/AIDS, and serious complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Without education, you’re denied the chance to fulfil your potential and break the cycle of poverty for good.

Then imagine that CAMFED steps in to support you.

Selected by your community, you receive financial and social support to go to school, including mentorship by young women who know exactly what you’re going through. Together, we dismantle the barriers to your education, partnering with parents, teachers, government officials and traditional authorities to deliver your entitlements. The support is not a one-off injection of money, but a package that allows you to enroll in school, do well academically and socially, and maximize the value of your education after graduation. You join the CAMFED Association of women leaders and acquire the skills to start a business, or apply for a job or further education. You decide if and when to marry and have children. And you reinvest in the community that nurtured you.

Discover the unparalleled returns of investing in girls’ education 

Watch our CAMFED 101 webinar with Angeline Murimirwa, CAMFED Executive Director – Africa. As one of the very first girls supported to go to secondary school by CAMFED in Zimbabwe, she is the embodiment of the unparalleled returns of investing in girls’ education. 

Meet some of our clients & leaders

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Meet Fanny, a CAMFED client

One of millions of girls living in extreme poverty in child-headed households, Fanny understands only too well the choice and opportunity an education can afford. Now that she’s supported at secondary school, she’s ready to shake up the world.

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Meet Nimatu, a CAMFED Association leader

Supported by CAMFED to complete her education, Nimatu is now an inspirational leader and philanthropist in the CAMFED Association.  Through her Changemakers Girls’ Club, she mentors 60 girls at the only Senior High School in her district.

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When you educate a girl, you educate a nation

When you educate a girl through CAMFED, you ignite the Multiplier Effect of girls’ education, because you’re investing in tomorrow’s leaders, working together to change the status quo for the most marginalized people in their communities and countries, and making the world a better place for everyone. 

Find out more about what sets us apart, and how we catalyze the power of the most vulnerable girls and young women to create the future they imagine — for themselves, for their communities, and for Africa.

 

What sets us apart

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty

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Beth Clark $150

Shauna Tomkins $800

Julie Forgit $100

Beverly Ayotte $200

Girl Up MHS $150

Blake Simpkins $100

Robert Genovese $30

Nicole Bushong $60

James Rosborough $100

Joan Ferguson $40

Margaret Oldham £100

Noelle Neglia $35

Elizabeth Copeland $150

CHISTINE STEPHENSON $250

J Buswell $350